Finely coloured carte-a-figures map of North and South America from the Bassett and Chiswell edition of John Speed’s “A Prospect of the Most Famous Parts of the World”. The map, which is the first English map of the American continents and the first atlas map to show California as an island, is reasonably accurate with respect to the coastal areas of South America, Central America and the Caribbean. However, other than portions of the east coast of North America, the rest of the continent remained largely unknown and its mapping was highly speculative. California is shown as an enormous island, the Great Lakes are missing and details of the north-central and northwest regions of the continent are absent and incomplete. It is decorated across the top with views of eight cities including, Havana, Santo Domingo, Cartagena, Mexico City and Rio De Janeiro. The panels down both sides depict indigenous men and women of the region in their native dress. A description of the Americas appears verso in English. The map has some areas of light toning, evidence of a prior framing in the blank borders and strengthening of the bottom centrefold; otherwise it is a finely coloured example in very good condition. 39.5 cm x 51.5 cm